Mayor-elect planning 3 days of inauguration celebrations

Jackson Mayor-elect Frank Melton plans to spread inaugural festivities over three days, beginning with the swearing-in and concluding with a prayer service.

But what Jacksonians are most interested in is Melton’s first speech as mayor, which will be after he is sworn in on July 1 at City Hall.

Melton, 54, a former local television CEO, plans to release transition team and inauguration committee details today. He will officially take office July 4.

“I’d like to see a different side of Frank Melton,” said Sharolyn Smith, who has two children in Jackson schools. “What I’ve seen in the past is somebody who reflects what people want to see at that moment. I want to see him talk about something other than crime.”

Campaign workers began making inauguration plans before the general election but haven’t firmed up some of the locations, entertainment or cost estimates, said Carolyn Redd, Melton’s campaign manager. Funding for the events also hasn’t been worked out, she said.

State law states that the mayor and council members’ term in office begins on the first Monday in July. Because that day is the Fourth of July, Melton plans to have the swearing-in ceremony the Friday before.

Melton plans to use the theme of patriotism in his celebration, with a block party July 1 after the noon swearing-in, which later will wrap up with fireworks. He will have an invitation-only semiformal event on July 2. “It should be a very red carpet, star-studded event,” Redd said.

Festivities will conclude July 3 with an early prayer service. “Definitely a cross section of ministers and religions. That is what this whole campaign thing has been about – bringing the city together and representing all 184,000 constituents,” she said.

Clarion Ledger
6/8/5